Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Radicalisation – Causes and Solutions

After the recent beheading of a British soldier in Woolwich, the government announced its plan to combat radicalisation, yet the plan solely consisted of targeting the primary victims of radicalisation; the voiceless Muslim minority. As a peaceful British citizen, I am deeply concerned about the rising tide of radicalisation over the last decade; consequentially, violent actions have followed resulting in the deaths of many innocent people; this is coupled with a systematic demonization of a community by the acidic mass media. In recent times, the media propaganda has been accompanied with racial undertones that have emboldened the xenophobic far right groups, and there is little sign of this process coming to a halt, let alone being reversed.

This radicalisation process started with the Blair regime. Indeed, one may ask what caused Tony Blair as a leader of the socialist orientated Labour party, to join hands with the radical right wing Republican party of George Bush, and his neo-conservative cabal that are marginally to the left of the far right. Most Americans are radicalised, they are xenophobic, inherently violent, obsessed with guns, operate with the Wild West philosophy of shoot first then asks question. One can only speculate what sort of program Blair was put through at the Crawford ranch in Texas, but after his return, he started to cite God as justification for his policies, despite being head of a secular nation that says keep religion out of politics. Yet, religion was invoked whilst the killings went on, and he remains unrepentant, waiting for his place in heaven, according to his conviction in a Catholic God, these are clear signs of a radicalised man.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

A British Baha Mousa Murdered in Woolwich: Declaration of War and the Covenant of Security

“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind"   (Mahatma Ghandi)

Much has been said about the political dimension to this issue in terms of motive, and I will address that later, first I want to focus on the justification given behind the act, which may explain how these home-grown ‘terrorists’ arises in the first place, and help to bring forward a solution to the problem. Had this been debated ‘honestly’ post 7/7, this killing may well have been avoided. 

Like the 7/7 bombings in 2005, the killing of the British soldier (Lee Rigby) in Woolwich is a response to British foreign policy that has resulted in the killing of many innocent Muslims, not a day passes when we hear the deaths of innocent families killed by drones or some other military action. According to the words uttered by one of the two culprits, the motive was revenge, and clearly stated they took a life as an eye for an eye. There was no mention of religion, but the religious dimension of this case is palpable as they could only identify with the victims in Afghanistan on religious grounds 

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Tornados, Hurricanes, Tsunamis and Earthquakes – Why God Permits Evil

As the US recovers from the devastation brought about by the unexpected Tornado, the religious and the secular factions will be out arguing the usual causes behind it. As for the political section, there is silence; this time there is no Al-Qaeda, no terrorists or the extreme far right to blame. Such events do bring about our philosophical thoughts to the surface; it gets us to think about the nature and the meaning of life and the universe. An event beyond our control causing so much devastation, killing indiscriminately, why does this happen? Some say it is a random event, the work of Mother Nature, and others say it is God sending down collective punishment. Depending on how you interpret the event, it can either bring a person to conviction in the existence of a Creator, or reaffirm his denial of a Creator, as is the current fad. 

If it is the former, the trail of thought is on the basis of observing the frailty and weakness of the human species. There must be something more powerful that has ensured the survival of the human race; otherwise we could have become extinct through major calamities in the past, and there has been plenty starting from the ice age. As for those who move towards the other direction, increasing their conviction in the absence of a benevolent Creator argue: how can God permit such evil, calamitous events kills saints and sinners indiscriminately; this is the age-old question from the atheist corner. And calamitous events add credence to the argument that there is no such thing as a loving God, maybe a killer God, but is that not an oxymoron? In fact that makes the case for Devil worshipping.

However, who says calamities and hardship can be equated to evil, and that God cannot inflict hardship on his creation? Isn’t that an assumption? If we build on this premise then one can argue by inference that hardship of any kind is evil on a smaller scale, hence the pain experienced through child birth or the toil in earning a living is also evil. This creates more questions than answers; clearly this is not a consistent viewpoint.

According to Islamic theology evil is disobedience to God, it relates entirely to the way we exercise our free will and is no relation to the natural events around us. If we kill others without a just cause, then we have taken a life without a divine permit and there is retribution for this evil deed. But can the same logic be applied to God, who is the Creator and the legal owner of life. Even in the realm of the human sphere, if I build a house, it is my prerogative to burn it down as I am its legal owner. What stops me from smashing my car in the garage? Thus what law stops God from taking the life that he created in the first place?

Monday, 20 May 2013

Are the Street Groomers Pakistani or British?

The seven convicted men in the Oxford grooming case were identified by their ethnicity. In contrast, similar cases involving white men are rarely scrutinised along the same line, provided the case is given any media coverage in the first place. This sends out a crude racist message:  when white men rape white girls it’s bad, but when non-white Pakistani men do it, it is so bad that it becomes unbearable to remain politically correct, and their ethnicity is identified. What is the difference between the discrimination of racially segregated America in the 1800s and the attitude towards Pakistani men in the united kingdom of 2013? Naturally, the discussion that ensued from the media headlines is how the ethnic mindset is shaped by their religion and culture; the driving force behind the crime. Alternatively the media could have simply treated the case as it is, a group of criminal men acting on opportunities and exploiting vulnerable young girls. This is a clear example of how the main media is stoking Islamophobic culture as the norm which the far right amplifies using vulgar and crude language.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Better Burqa than Crass Nudity

I always thought clothes were the mark of civilisation; one of the characteristics that distinguishes the human race from the animal kingdom.  We conceal our private parts, engage in acts of intimacy with our spouse in privacy, and have ancient rules that guide and restrict with whom we can procreate with. These characteristics reflect the higher values of human societies. The early European colonisers with the Christian missionaries used to scorn the native Africans and others for appearing nude or semi-nude.  Yet, the current trend is we see the clothes come off when the sun comes out; the diehard liberals see nudity as an expression of freedom and progression.

The tiny number of activists affiliated to the feminist group Femen, are running around like naked savages in various towns, and their selective mission is to save Muslim women from the Burqa, “better nude than Burqa” is the slogan. They should have at least asked first, do the Muslim women want to be saved by bearing their naked breasts?  You don’t have to be devout, moderate or a radical; even the most liberal Muslim families would take offence at their mothers, daughters and sisters behaving in this crude way. Far from support, these wild women are likely to have got a slap in their face from Muslim women; their motto will always be better Burqa than nude or better clothed than nude, we are human beings with honour and dignity, and it is not befitting for us to appear nude in public like animals!

Friday, 3 May 2013

Afghanistan: What did they die for?

The recent deaths of three British Soldiers has led to the same questions in the British media - why are they still in Afghanistan and what did they die for? Never mind the countless, non-Taliban Afghan men, women and children that are consumed daily by the American drones; they are nameless and faceless peasants, and the media is busy with more important things. The number three has a special resonance now, not the holy trinity, but earlier the Boston bombers killed three and it mobilised the American armed forces on a massive scale, as compared to the killing field of Sandy Hook that consumed almost ten times that figure. As always, when foreigners kill, it deserves special attention!

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